Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

Yesterday was a buzz! It started of with an extra hour of sleep since we had another late start. The rest of the day just went by fast which was nice. We got out at 3 as usual and then at 4:30 I had to be down at the auditorium for another basketball game. We had a C-game so I got to play a lot. We lost the C-game by one basket made in the last minute so that kind of sucks but we reloaded for JV. Mrs. Kafka put me in at the end of the first quarter and then I played for a while in the second quarter and LET ME TELL YOU THIS! I MADE MY FIRST BASKET EVER! I'm actually really proud of myself since I had no clue what I was doing in the beginning of the season and now I get to play a lot in C-team and our coach even puts me in for JV. That maybe doesn't sound like such an accomplishment but it feels good to know that I can do it, I'm not worthless.

Besides that, I also got to play almost the whole fourth quarter and we won JV so that just made it all so much better.

I have kind of started to work out... my dad challenged me to run the midnight run in August, when I get home to Sweden. This means that I have to beat him! It is a race on 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) that goes through all of Södermalm (a part of Stockholm). It's called the midnight run so of course it's going on in the middle of the night and they close off all the roads that are connected to the route. Every year there are about 40 000 participants so it's one of swedens biggest running events. It's going to be really fun (if I beat him) but this means that I have to get in shape and start running and knowing me I'll want to quit in a week or two but I got to keep it up as a routine for this to actually work. My dad signed me up for group 4A which means that I am supposed to run this in 55-60 minutes(!) so I better start working. So far I've completed two days of running on the treadmill and some leg exercises, plus basketball practice.

Right now I'm laying in bed cuddling with Boo (our dog) when I should do some physics but whatever, I'm noooot in the mood to study right now, plus I have my studyhall tomorrow to do it so I'm good. That's all for me today, goodnight America and good morning Sweden.

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Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

Hi again! Today has been an eventful day. Yesterday when we got out of practice the weather had made a 180 turn. During the day the temperature went almost all the way up to 60 degrees and sunny but in a couple of hours it turned way below freezing and the wind was up to 40 mph. Here in America this means that every person in school is hoping for a snow day. Which means no school because of the weather. It wasn't really that bad but when I was about to go to bed Jeff told me that we were going to have a late start.

So this morning I woke up at 8.30 since we started at 9.45 instead of 8.15. Amanda and Jeff had bought Oreo cereals, which I've never had before, so that's what I had for breakfast. It kind of funny how a lot of candy and cookies here are made into cereal, Oreo, Reese's, etc. Then we headed to school. Since we started 1.5 hour late all of the classes were shortened by about 20 minutes.

I haven't written about this but after Christmas break I joined choir in school, so today I had my third chioir class. I did it most of all because I had a 90 minutes study hall and that turns really boring really fast when you don't have anything to do for 50 out of those 90 minutes. So now I only have 1 hour studyhall and 30 minutes choir, but it also turns out that I really like it, so I'm happy I did it.

We had a game today at Kimball/white lake so after school we all met up at the auditorium to go on the bus to Kimball. It's about 1 hour and 15 minutes to go there and today we had both a C-game, JV game, and varsity so we left there at about 9.30PM after all the games were over. I played almost half of the C-game and that was really fun plus we won, which is always a bonus. After that was the JV game and Mrs. Kafka (our coach) put me in after a couple of minutes in the first quarter. After a couple of minutes though, while jumping for a rebound, I got an elbow to my nose and it hurt so bad. The person must have been going up and then been driving the ball down and I must have been in the way because that was a hard hit. Anyway, I got a nose bleed and that was the end of the game for me. We lost that JV game and we also lost varsity but I'm happy for my win.

Right now I'm laying in bed, I just got home about 10 minutes ago and it's crazy cold outside and it was crazy cold on the buss so I'm all snuggled up in blankets to try and warm up and hoping that my nose don't turn blue tomorrow or is all swollen cause it still hurts! :(

I better go to bed now if want to be able to wake up tomorrow. Goodnight everyone!

Picture from our last home game of the boy's run out sign.



Matildas Exchangeyear

OBS! Following post will be in Swedish!

Om det här är den första gången du läser min blogg: Hej! Jag heter Matilda och här skriver jag om mitt år som utbytesstudent i Gregory, South Dakota.

Om du har läst min blogg tidigare: Hej! Jag är så glad att du vill följa mitt utbytesår och jag hoppas att kunna inspirera andra till att göra samma sak.

Om du nu skulle vilja göra som jag och åka på ett utbytesår (vilket jag rekommenderar starkt ;)) så är det dags att anmäla sig så snart som möjligt och framförallt innan den 31 Januari för att få en garanterad plats på programmet. Man kan anmäla sig enda fram till maj om man så vill men programmet har ett begränsat antal platser och det är inte säkert att du får en plats efter 31 januari. Detta är alltså för programmet med avresa sommaren 2018.

Som sagt för att vara säker så kontakta EF redan idag antingen på telefon: 08-58793050
Eller via mejl: highschoolyear.se@ef.com

Gå även in på deras hemsida och läs om programmet. Det är jag kan säga att jag aldrig kommer ångra mitt beslut om att åka och jag uppmuntrar alla som har möjligheten att åka! Kontakta gärna mig och ni har några som helst frågor!

Think about it guys! It's the adventure of a lifetime!



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

School stared on Wednesday so I'm officially back on track! We got our first win on Thursday, the girls varsity played Lyman and we won by one point on overtime, cred to Megan for making her last free throw. It was an intense game and since it was home a lot of people were there to watch. The stands were screaming and cheering the whole night.

The whole boys' basketball team came over for breakfast this morning since Jeff is the head coach. Therefore we spiced it up a bit with chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs.

Today we also have a double header game that starts at 2 with the boys' c-team. It's also home and will probably be going on all day until late at night with 5 games on the schedule. I'll come back with an update. ;)

I'm now laying in bed and ready to go to sleep. It's been the longest day. I went to the gym at 2 o'clock to watch the c-game and then my game started at about 3, us girls lost both our games big time and the boys won their varsity game. I was at the gym for a total of 7 hours and out of those 7 hours I spent 6 hours sitting on a wooden stand so it's an understatement to say that my butt was numb when I left. I went home after the game and the adults were going to the bar so all us kids where at our house. We were just talking and laughing for a couple of hours, I had a good time with a LOT of funny stories.

I better post this before it turns into a new day so I have to change all the today's to yesterday but tomorrow is going to be a study Sunday. I have an essay to write that's due Thursday but I kind of just want to get it done and I also have some physics problems to look at ughh. I want to get back to Christmas break!



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

I know it's been a while since last time I posted but there haven't really been anything new, I've gone to school, had practice, went home, and then either studied or went straight to bed lol.

The one thing that is kind of fun is that basketball started about a month ago, on November 28th. It's been a lot of fun so far and we've played a couple of games. We're not that many girls on the team so we don't have a c-team, which gives me less playing time. I am really new with the whole basketball thing and I'm really not that good so I don't get to play that much. That's not why I'm there though, I just want something to occupy my spare time and keep me active and moving. That is definitely one of the perks of going to such a small school, you don't have to audition for anything you can just join whatever you want to join.

We had finals the week before Christmas. That is a test that basically contains everything that you've gone through throughout the whole semester so it's a big test, it makes up about 20 percent of your final grade. It is the teacher that decides if you have a test or not and I had one in four out of my six classes. I did good on all of the tests, I got an A on all the tests. I really thought I messed up my physics test but apparently I didn't do as bad as I thought.

Last Tuesday we went to Nebraska with the basketball team. Gregory is only 20 minutes from the border to Nebraska and we had a game in a small town called Spring View. That night I got to play almost a whole quarter of the JV game. We lost by a lot so everyone was kind of bummed but I was just happy got to play.

All the Determans (Jeff's side of the family) were here for Christmas. We started on Sunday, 24th when we went to church in the evening, at 5.30. It lasted for about one hour and then we went home and had soup. After dinner we went into the livingroom to open presents. We had this exchange between the kids so you drew a name and you had to give one gift to that person and you would get one gift from another person. I got a gift from Gracie, my little host cousin. She gave me a scarf and a pair of basketball socks.

The next day we started the day by opening the gifts within the family. I got a bunch of nice things. I got a hoodie, socks, wireless headphones, a shirt, some candy, and lottery tickets. I didn't win anything on the lottery tickets lol. Later everyone came over for brunch. They all brought something to eat, Jan brought a lot of caramel rolls, Michelle brought egg bake and Amanda had made ham.

That was the first Christmas celebration and the second one (with Amanda's side of the family) were yesterday, Saturday. So we all went to Laura's, Amanda's sisters place. There were a lot of food and all the kids got gifts. All the kids got a pair of those virtual reality goggles, and let me tell you those are funny! You get a little dizzy after a while but everyone can enjoy them.

Between the two celebrations practice started again and we had a game on Friday, a double header at Dakota Christian. We won JV and I got to play some which was fun.

That is all for my Christmas break today is New Year's Eve so there is definitely going to be a post about that too, probably coming up tomorrow. I want to wish everyone a very happy new year and be careful with your resolutions! My resolutions is to take advantage of all the possibilities during my year and make the best of it.

Happy new year everyone!🎉

Me and aunt Rachelle playing the game speak out. It is hilarious!



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

Goodmorning everyone! Today is the day I'm turning 17, so called "snarton" in Swedish which means "soon to me eighteen". That's pretty much what it feels like, it's nothing special just one year closer to eighteen.

We didn't have school today here in America since it's thanksgiving day today! It's my first time celebrating thanksgiving and I couldn't be more excited. Jeff's brothers and parents cane today and his brother Brian and his wife and kids already got here yesterday.

We actually had an early dismissal in school yesterday so we got out at 1:30 pm instead of 3:00.

I woke up at around 8 am and got up to eat breakfast, Amanda had muffins and fruit ready for everyone. Everyone wished me happy birthday and also happy thanksgiving. After that we just sat around and talked I had received a packet both form my parents and from my grandpa so I opened that and FaceTimed them. At 1.30 we had lunch with everything there is to be on a thanksgiving table, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and you can't forget about the cranberries!

I was so stuffed after that meal and we hadn't even started with the pies! We had both pumpkin, cookies and cream, cream puff, and chocolate pie and it was delicious. After lunch I received some presents from Mya, Jeff and Amanda, Brian and Hillary, Jan, and also from Joan. I couldn't be more thankful for this second family that I've got.

Jeff brother Jay, that was here, brought his 10 month old huskie puppy which is no longer a small puppy, she was way past the size of Bo, and she was so beautiful! After everyone was down with lunch we all just sat down in front of the TV and watched football and basketball. I had small nap and then we were back at it again with dinner which was the leftover of the turkey. And a bit more pie. After that we started to watch a movie and after a while me and Mya went into "our" room (Mya is staying in my room while Brian and Hillary is staying here).

Now we are laying in bed and watching a movie until 12 when we are going to go internet Black Friday shopping since we couldn't go to a mall.

I've had the best birthday and the best first thanksgiving! I've gained more pounds in a day than you're supposed to gain in a month lol. Im thankful for the opportunity I've been given to experience all of this, it's an amazing gift.

May everyone have an amazing thanksgiving and everyone around the world who doesn't celebrate thanksgiving and an amazing weekend and also an amazing start on the Christmas holiday!



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

I have been thinking for a while about doing a post about how a day in my American life looks like and this is it so keep reading!

I put my alarm at 6.55 and then I snooze until 7.20. Then I go up and I pic out my outfit for the day and I do my makeup and such. When I'm done usually around 7.40 I go out to the kitchen and grab whatever cereal is in the pantry and the milk from the fridge. That's what I eat for breakfast almost every day. Sometimes on the weekends Amanda or Jeff buys donuts or pop tarts but it's usually cereal.

When I'm done eating I go and brush my teeth and put my homework in my book bag. Then I usually leave at around 7.50 with Jeff and Mya since he is the principal at school. Tommy and Coy usually goes a bit later at 8.00.

School starts at 8.15 so I have a bunch of time to either do homework or just to go around and chat with people. I have a different schedule every other day so we have A-days and B-days. On A-days I have algebra 2, physics, studyhall and yearbook in that order. On B-days I have U.S. history, literature/speech, studyhall and engineering in that order. We also have lunch in the middle of the studyhall. Every class is 90 minutes long and the break in between is 5 minutes but that's not really a problem since the school is so small and I don't have to run between the classrooms. Let's say this is a B-day so I would go to Mr. Allmendingers classroom and have history which I have with the juniors.

When the late bell rings at 8.15 we are supposed to be in the classroom and then a few minutes later someone announces in the speakers that it's time to say the pledge of allegiance which we say every morning during the first period. So everyone stands up and say the pledge with their right hand over their heart and turned towards the flag. This means that there is a flag in every classroom.

On mondays instead of saying the pledge of allegiance we have an assembly, a Gorilla gathering, when the bell rings so everyone goes down to the gym and they say the announcements for the week and they also give out spirit awards for the people who have been the most supportive during sports events. During this gathering we also sing the national song.

So then we have 90 minutes of history and then the bell rings and we are dismissed to our next class, for me that is English which I have with the sophomores and Mrs. Graber. Right now we are reading "to kill a mockingbird" which is an American classic. One of the differences in school her from back home is that here you as a student go around to the teachers room, the teachers stay in the same room all day while back in Sweden the teacher goes around the different classrooms and the students usually stay in the same classroom.

Third period is studyhall which is also in Mrs. Graber's room and here comes another difference. Here the homework is a part of the education plan. You are almost supposed to have homework everyday. There's always at least one thing to do for homework but. The thing with studyhall is that for me it is 90 minutes but it's divided into three parts, the first half hour is band for the people that are in band, the second half hour is for choir and I'm not in they either. After an hour of studyhall we have lunch for 30 minutes and then at 1 we have another half hours of studyhall and this time everyone has an actual studyhall.

This makes it kind of boring for me to have 90 minutes of being able to distribute the time on homework but I usually finish my homework during the first 30-40 minutes so I always bring my book to read but that gets boring too after while. It's great when you need it but 1 hour would be enough for me, I might just join choir.

When the third half hour has past I'm off to engineering with Mr. Murray who is also my algebra teacher. Engineering is not a class at my school every year so the classroom is in a trailer right outside of the school. We are only 8 people in that class so it's nice, you learn way faster when you get more time with the teacher actually teaching.

In engineering we have been sketching quite a lot, at first mostly for hand but now we have started to use a program called "autodesk inventor" which is a really nice program with a lot of features that fits perfectly with the course. For the last couple of weeks we have been working on a project where we are making our own puzzle cube. 5 different parts are supposed to make a 3x3 cube. I really like it since I'm quite interested in sketching in different computer programs and creating new things. It's a bit of a break from all the other regular classes.

I get out of school at 3 pm sharp so when the bell rings everyone is rushing out of school. When I had volleyball practice I went straight to the auditorium which is a couple of blocks away from school so I got a ride with someone on the team. But now practice is over so I've had about a month when I didn't have anything after school so I try to catch a ride with the girls that live in my neighborhood. Basketball practice starts in about a week so then I won't be so bored after school. I can't wait actually lol.

So when I get home from school these days I've been trying to get on the treadmill as my daily workout since I don't really do anything else but I haven't really been able to keep up the habit. Another reason why basketball really need to start, so I won't get fat hahaha (Not really a joke). Other than that I do my homework when I get home and after that I binge watch Greys Anatomy. Until everyone comes home from practice and work at around 5 and we start making supper.

This is with the exception of Wednesday's when we have youth group at church so the middle schoolers start at 5.30 so Amanda, Mya, and Coy go there before us since the high schoolers start at 6 pm. They give us good and then we have about an hour where talk about religion and everything that comes with it. Right now we have confirmation so we talk a bit about what that means. It's a really good way to connect with people since it's together with the people from school so we usually have a great time.

That's until around 7 o'clock and then me and Tommy head home and the rest of the night I probably do homework if I have anything left or I watch YouTube or some more Greys Anatomy. I try to go to bed at around 9.30 which is way earlier than when I used to go to bed in Sweden but it's nice to feel that you get the sleep you need to not be tired the next day.

During volleyball season I had practice every weekday so I got home from school at around 5.30-6.00 every day and that is probably how long the basketball practices will be too.

This turned out to be a super long post but I hope you liked it and got a better insight in what my life actually looks like. Tommorrow is Sunday and on Monday I have a algebra test so I will be spending tomorrow studying.

Btw fun fact is that my birthday is on thanksgiving day this year which is in 4 days!

Here's a throwback to homecoming when we took a senior class picture and also when the volleyball team went to Sioux Falls to watch the SDSU Jackrabbits volleyball game and I caught the ball!



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

I just got back to reality from a four day weekend, how great is that!? It started Thursday for sport reasons. Since we won the semifinals of the 9AA football class we went to Vermillion to play the state championship against Irene/Wakonda. It's such a big thing here in Gregory that we got out of school so we would get out there on time. Vermillion is two hours away and the game started at 1.30 pm so I don't think there would have been that many people in school anyway.

Amanda, Jeff, Mya, and I left the house a little bit before 10. We stopped in Yankton to eat at Taco John's before we went straight to the Dakota Dome which is the football stadium for the University of South Dakota and the Coyotes. There were three games on Thursday and one was as early as 10.30 so there were already a lot of people there. Mya and I went to go sit in the student section with all the other kids from our school.

The game was delayed and didn't start until 2.30 pm but we were on fire ready to cheer the boys on. The game offered a bunch of nerves, a broken hand and we got out of there with a big, fat W!!

We beat them with the final score of 56-30 and I've never seen that many people screaming so loud. After they announced us a the winner all of us fans ran out on the field and it was the best atmosphere! Everyone was laughing, congratulating the players and taking pictures. It's a memory that will be with me for a long time, one of the best memories so far. Gregory's football team now was back to back state champions since we also won state last year.

Friday was kind of eventless, my throat hurt from cheering so loud and my legs hurt from standing up for so long lol. I just laid in bed all day.

Saturday, me, Amanda and Joan went to Winner to buy Christmas lights. Winner is about 30 minutes away so it was a little road trip. Then we came back and I laid in bed for a while. At 7.30 pm me and Mya went to the movies. This weekend then showed "only the brave" it's about a hot shot crew. Highly recommended!

Sunday we put up the Christmas lights and the boys were out hunting. Since the deer season just started they were out both Saturday and Sunday and the actually shot two on Sunday. They go out early in the morning when the sun rises since that's when the deer moves and then out again around 5 when the sun is setting.

Overall I had an amazing weekend but now I'm back to ordinary life.




Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

Last weekend was so much fun! It started on Friday after school when we headed to Sioux Falls. First we went to the mall to eat dinner before we continued to Sanford Pentagon to watch the SDSU's jackrabbits volleyball game. Before the game when they announce the starting players they throw out small bouncy balls and I caught one. Lol that kind of made my day. :) I had a Cinnabon on the way back and it was amazing.

On Saturday I woke up at 8, took a shower and then me, Jeff, Mya, Tommy and Coy went in the car and headed out to Winner to start off this seasons pheasant hunting.

There were some drama at first when a woman fell and broke her ankle so we had to wait for the ambulance to get there before we could go out and hunt. At around 12.30 we got in the cars again and drove out to the first spot and since it rained me and Mya stayed in the car. They didn't shoot any at the first spot so we continued for about 5 more spots. Me and Mya sat in the car most of the time but it finally stopped raining at around 1. At the last spot I got to go with them when they walked. We were walking alongside some trees and the dog hounded them out. They shot 18 in total and we got to take 4 of them home so for supper on Sunday we got pheasant.

I had a great day with another awesome experience.



Everyday life, Matildas Exchangeyear

A couple of weeks ago was homecoming and I probably should have posted this earlier but I was just too lazy to start. For you who don't know what homecoming is, it is specific for America and it's a week where you have dress up days and then a dance and also a homecoming football game. First of all it is a opportunity for already graduated students to come back for the game. Today it is so much more than that with the dress ups and there's also the coronation of homecoming king and queen. Not every school have homecoming the same week and every school have different homecoming traditions. I know some school have a powderpuff game which is when the girls play football and the guys coach, but we don't have that.

On Monday, which was the first day, it was western day for dress up and everyone came to school dressed in something that was western. Someone even came to school riding a horse and someone took their tractor. I wore a pair of blue jeans with a big buckle belt, a flannel shirt and I also borrowed Amanda's cowboy boots. With that I braided my hair. It was so much fun to come to school and see everyone dressed up, everyone went all in. Emma had even brought a horse mask. That day was also a JV and middle school football game which we went to after practice.

On Tuesday was spirit day so everyone dressed up in the school colors which is red and white. I wore one of the guys' football jerseys and just a pair of jeans. At every lunch that week we had games for Monday you had to make a solo cup fall of the table with the help of a balloon. On Tuesday you were supposed to be two people and one of the two had to roll a toilet paper roll from one side of the gym to the other and then back. The seniors was on field trip that day though so it was only us foreigners and none of the others wanted to play so I guess we got last. After school on Tuesday we had our homecoming volleyball game which was fun because the whole town came to watch us.

Wednesday was the class surprise day and we had chose "tourist" so I dressed up in a so called "Hawaii-shirt", a pair of jeans shorts, a bucket hat, crew socks pulled up as far as I possibly could and slides lol. When I got up to eat breakfast Jeff asked me if I wanted to speak at the Rotary Club meeting that day and I said yes so at lunch we went downtown to a restaurant called Sissy's and we got lunch and I basically talked about what Sweden is like and what made me decide on being an exchange student. It was fun and there were a lot of nice people there, people who actually wanted to know what my home country was like and what I thought about their little town. After that I went back to school and after school we had practice as usual.

Thursday was celebrity day and everyone dressed up as a celebrity one way or another. I of course had to represent my pride in my country and soccer so I dressed up as Zlatan Ibrahimovic even though no one knew who he was.

On Thursday night was also the coronation of the king and queen and the homecoming dance. Some schools have a really formal homecoming dance where they dress up and go together with a date but at my school everyone just went with jeans and a t-shirt. The coronation was from 7.30-8.00 and then the dance started at 8.30. Bailey and Jayd won homecoming king and queen by the way and they looked beautiful doing so. During the coronation the band played and the cheerleaders danced. They also announced everyone that played any sport so they called up all the volleyball players for example so we went out on the floor and everyone in the audience greeted us with applause. The dance was fun and unlike in Sweden everyone danced and there were also a bunch of slow dances throughout the night. Once again unlike in Sweden people actually danced even to slow songs. I danced with a couple of guys who asked me to dance. And it was fun because no one made it a big deal.

Here comes Friday, everyone dressed up in their assigned class colors, seniors had black and basically all we did was work on our floats for the homecoming parade that was taking place at 1pm on Main Street. Our class chose The Flintstones for our theme so we took a golf cart and put it on top of our trailer and we decorated it with a bunch of signs and characters from the show. Me, Jorgan and Cade were on the float dressed up as the characters and we through out candy for the kids. It was really fun and overall the homecoming week was probably the most I've had.

After school we had practice for awhile until we got to go home and get ready for the football game. Gregory's football team is really good and we are ranked number 1 in the state and with that said, we won our homecoming game which was awesome! The spirit was on top and everyone was super excited. '

Thanks to everyone who made this week the most memorable one of my life so far. I had a blast!!❤️ And once again I'm so sorry for the late post. Homecoming week was September 18-22.

I'll catch up you later!